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    » 12/06/2007, 00.00

    SRI LANKA

    Archbishop of Colombo: with the coming of Advent we prepare for the beginning of a new life



    In his message to the diocese, Archbishop Gomis frowned upon the situation in the country, which has plummeted “back in time”: war, social disparity, and human rights violations are only a few of the daily crimes. But with the birth of Jesus, “hope smiles upon us”: prayer and penance are necessary in order to change our hearts.
    Colombo (AsiaNews) – “The time has come to begin new life!” This was the opening statement by the Archbishop Oswald Gomis of Colombo to the priests, religious and lay people in his long Advent letter. The message was clear: let the birth of Jesus be an opportunity for a renewed commitment to “put an end to the crimes of our society: the first being war”.
     
    The Bishop urged the community, first of all, to not close its eyes on the reality of the country: there is a rise in “kidnappings, killings, human rights violations, abortions, diseases, the division between rich and poor, while the conflict in the north compromises each economic development”. Then he invited the leaders of the country to “unite the people”, and to assume the responsibility of re-marginalising the “profound ethnic and religious differences that divide the people” in Sri Lanka. Contributing to this division, according to the Archbishop, are some politicians and media who are only interested in their own personal gain. “Even though with nearly sixty years of Independence we have been going backwards and many of our countrymen have lost hope of a future in Sri Lanka”. He added, “I believe there is still hope for us if there is a change of heart”.
     
    Archbishop Gomis invited the Catholic community, “even though only a minority”, to commence a “new life”, by becoming beacons of light to the rest of the country. The Archbishop recommended the parishes “dedicate Advent to promoting community prayer, especially for peace. Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament exposed and Benediction should take an important place in these devotions.” Prayer should be accompanied by penance, by “acts of virtue towards the “needy” and by “sacrifice.”
     
     
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    See also

    30/11/2006 SRI LANKA
    Sri Lanka prepares for Christmas and peace

    In a message to lay people and religious, the archbishop of Colombo called for "intensification" of prayer for peace in the country, where civil war rages in the north and east. A candle should be lit before each crib as a symbol of union in prayer with the Child Jesus.



    28/11/2005 PAKISTAN
    In Advent, Pakistani Church urged to recall those who suffer

    The president of the Pakistan Catholic Bishops Conference has invited the community – which is preparing to "celebrate the loving presence of Jesus" – to remember those who suffer, especially quake survivors. An appeal was also made to the Sangla Hill Christians: "Tragic events, yes, but remain firm in the faith".



    16/12/2006 SRI LANKA
    Nuncio: may Christmas bring real conversion of hearts
    An interview with Mgr Mario Zenari, apostolic delegate in Sri Lanka, who recently visited Jaffna: “Even amid difficulties, we should not stop praying and hoping for a future of peace”. The pope is “alarmed” about violations of human rights in the country.

    24/12/2004 SRI LANKA
    Yes, to peace and justice; no to death penalty, says Colombo bishop


    07/12/2007 PAKISTAN
    More than one thousand Catholics in Karachi prepare for Christmas together
    Even though Pakistan has been undergoing some difficult times, the Catechetical Centre Karachi was able to unite the people through a preparation programme to reflect and prepare for the birth of the Savior.



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